- David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky Atlantic UK
- Maisie Williams recently reflected on fame and mental health on an episode of Fearne Cotton’s “Happy Place” podcast.
- Growing up as a young actor on “Game of Thrones” took its toll at times, especially because Williams felt it was “impossible” to turn a blind eye to negativity on social media.
- “It’s something that I’m really trying to break free from at the moment. But I went through a huge period of my life where I’d tell myself every day that I hated myself,” she said.
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Williams, who was 11 years old when she was cast as Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones,” said she felt it was “impossible” to turn a blind eye to negativity on social media as she was growing up.
“Trying to navigate being a teenager and being a 16-year-old, you know, that was very difficult when it wasn’t just your peers watching you, but people who felt like they had ownership over you and felt like they knew who you were,” she said. “It got to me a lot, because there’s just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you.”
The 22-year-old star revealed that she had to detach herself from the constant feedback, and she even enlisted her mom to screen social media feeds for her.
“There did come a time when the show – I just took a step away from it all,” she said. “My mom would always have the log-ins to my social accounts, and so she would always see everything that came in and like, if it was a bit negative or there was anything bad, then she would say, ‘Maybe don’t look for a little while ’cause it might upset you.'”
“I think when people are on social media they feel like whatever they write, no one’s gonna read it and no one’s gonna see it,” she continued. “But they do. And it will affect them for a really long time.”
Williams went on to say that she has struggled with self-loathing throughout her life and, although she has grown and adopted healthy coping mechanisms, she continues to grapple with insecurities.
- Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
“I went through a huge period of my life where I’d tell myself every day that I hated myself,” she said. “It got so bad. I’m not saying this because I think I’m the only one in the world, I feel like we can all relate to that, just telling ourselves awful things.”
Read more: 9 signs you’re being too hard on yourself
“One thing I learned is that everyone is a little bit sad. And it was really eye-opening to me to understand that,” Williams continued. “I’m still definitely really struggling with that, really struggling to let sadness wash over me without it consuming me. There was a period of time where I was very sad and then I sort of came out of that, and then it’s now just like, really terrifying that you’re ever gonna slip back into it.”
She said that she recently read the book “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life,” which helped her develop a healthy life philosophy, prioritize self-care, and keep herself grounded.
- Read more:
- Kit Harington revealed he felt ‘vulnerable’ after season 5 of ‘Game of Thrones,’ when all eyes were on him after Jon Snow’s cliffhanger death
- Maisie Williams was worried that ‘Game of Thrones’ fans would hate Arya’s heroic moment at the Battle of Winterfell
- ‘Game of Thrones’ comes to an end next week with one final 80-minute long episode. Watch the new teaser here.